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México City

México City is the most important economic, industrial, and cultural center in the country, located in the Valley of México at an altitude of 2,240 meters or 7,349 ft. Greater México City has a population exceeding 20 million people, being the most populated metropolitan area in the western hemisphere and the second largest in the world.

Tenochtitlan - Mexico City

Tenochtitlan - Mexico City

Cuicuilco may be one of the oldest cities settled in the area, located at the southern shore of the original Lake Texcoco, it was inhabited around 1700 BC and by 300 BC this area contained one of the biggest cities in the Valley of México.

The current México City was built as Tenochtitlán by the Aztecs in 1325 on an island of Lake Texcoco. After landing in Veracruz, Hernán Cortés first saw it on November 8, 1519, upon viewing Tenochtitlán for the first time, Cortés and his men were stunned by its beauty and size. At the end, Cuauhtémoc, the last Aztec Emperor, had to surrender in August of 1521.

The Historic Centre has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Famous landmarks include hundreds of buildings, palaces, convents and churches built between the 1500s to the 1700s when it was one of the most important cities during the Spanish Empire.

The city grew from the island expanding beyond the original shoreline through a draining process that continued from the 1500s to the 1800s until the lake mostly disappeared. The majority of the Spanish noble families proved their worth by making fortunes outside of the city, then spending the revenues in the capital, building churches, supporting charities and building extravagant palatial homes, many of which can still be seen, leading to México City’s nickname of “The City of Palaces”. Mexico City Metropolitan Cathedral Mexico City Metropolitan Cathedral Main Altar
Mexico City Tabernacle
  Mexico City Government

The Zócalo, main square, includes time clashing Spanish-era Metropolitan Cathedral and the National Palace within a few steps of the ancient Aztec ruins Templo Mayor. The nearby Fine Arts Palace is a stunning white marble theatre/museum whose weight is such that it has gradually been sinking into the soft lake bed below.

Mexico City Fine Arts Theater Mexico City Museum

 After the Mexican Revolution, the avant-garde artistic muralist movement lead by José Clemente Orozco, David Alfaro Siqueiros and Diego Rivera displayed its art in numerous buildings in the city.

México City’s golden Angel of Independence, is found on the wide and elegant avenue Paseo de la Reforma, modeled by the order of the Emperor Maximilian after the Champs-Élysées in Paris. This avenue was designed in the XIX century to connect the National Palace (seat of government) with the Castle of Chapultepec (imperial residence), which is placed on top of the wooded hill that the Aztecs made home in the 1200s before founding Tenochtitlán.


Angel of Independence - Mexico City 

The nearby, Polanco is a tree-lined neighborhood with upscale restaurants, boutiques, hotels and art galleries. Condesa, with a more laid back character, is notable for its sidewalk restaurants, bars, cafés and art scene.


The Popocatépetl is an active volcano at 5,426 m (17,802 ft) linked to the Iztaccíhuatl volcano by a high saddle known as Paso de Cortés, the latter has four peaks with its highest at 5,230 m (17,159 ft). Iztaccíhuatl peaks are seen as depicting the head, chest, knees and feet of a sleeping female figure. Both formations contain permanent snow and glaciers and are only 70 km (44 mi) to the southeast of Mexico City, whence it can be seen regularly. Also the residents of Puebla, 40 km (25 mi) east of the volcanoes, enjoy the views of the snowy and glacier-clad mountain range.

Chapultepec Castle - Mexico City  

San Ángel started with a Carmelite Convent during the 1500s and grew with many fine country estates which spilled into the adjacent towns of Tizapán and Chimalistac. Not far, Hernán Cortés made his residence in Coyoacán, a town that features large and beautiful Spanish colonial homes, an area that centuries later became home to Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera and Leon Trotsky.

Church at Coyoacan - Mexico City

Coyoacán is now lined with bookstores, cafés and clubs with a lively bohemian and artistic culture. The Pedregal lava fields were formed by the eruption of the Xitle volcano around 5000 BC, nearby Cuicuilco, was inhabited around 1700 BC and by 300 BC reached its climax.

Domes - Mexico City


Xochimilco - Mexico City

The oldest university in the Americas established in México City’s Historical Center in the early 1500s, is now the largest university in the continent under the name of National Autonomous University of México (UNAM), relocated in the 1950s in an area known as Ciudad Universitaria and declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, a distinction also given to the nearby "Aztec floating gardens" of Xochimilco.

La Villa is the site of the famous apparition of the Virgin of Guadalupe, according to the tradition, the image appeared miraculously on the front of a simple peasant cloak, Saint Juan Diego on the hill of Tepeyac near México City between December 9 and December 12, 1531.

Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe - Mexico City

The Virgin has been given the title: "Patroness of the Americas" and the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe is the second most visited Catholic shrine in the world.

Tlatelolco - Mexico City

Plaza of the Three Cultures - Mexico City

Tlatelolco was founded in 1337 which is where the Plaza de las Tres Culturas is located. The Plaza contains the ancient site surrounded by the Templo de Santiago from the 1600s and the 20th century office complexes of the Mexican Foreign Ministry.

Teotihuacán is an enormous archaeological site located approximately 40 kilometers or 25 miles northeast of México City, which covers a total surface area of 83 km², designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is one of the most visited archaeological sites in México. It contains some of the largest pyramidal structures built in the Pre-Columbian Americas, along with large residential complexes and colorful well-preserved murals.


Pyramid of the Sun - Teotihuacan Mexico 

The name was given by the Náhuatl-speaking Aztec, centuries after the fall of the city, meaning 'birthplace of the gods' reflecting creation mythology. It had its apogee in the first half of the 1st millennium CE, becoming the largest city in the Pre-Columbian Americas, when it may have had more than 100,000 inhabitants placing it amongst the largest cities of the world in this period. Teotihuacán influence throughout Mesoamerica is well documented becoming a multiethnic state.

Las Lomas and Bosques are high-end neighborhoods with mansions within thick and dense forests on steep hillsides and valleys, while Santa Fe is a display of modern Mexican architecture and a main business center.


According to a recent study, Greater México City is the eighth-richest urban agglomeration in the world after the greater areas of Tokyo, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Paris, London and Osaka/Kobe, and the richest in Latin America.

The Museo Nacional de Antropología (National Museum of Anthropology) contains significant archaeological and anthropological artifacts from the pre-Columbian heritage of Mexico. It has an impressive architecture with exhibition halls surrounding a patio with a huge pond and a vast square concrete umbrella supported by a single slender pillar around which splashes an artificial cascade.

The Museo Nacional de Antropología has 23 rooms for exhibits and covers an area of approximately 8 hectares or 20 acres which is ringed by gardens some with outdoor exhibits.

Arifact Anthropology Museum - Mexico City Arifact Anthropology Museum - Mexico City


Aztec Calendar Anthropology Museum - Mexico City Quetzalcoatl Anthropology Museum - Mexico City

The museum has a number of significant exhibits, such as the Aztec Stone of the Sun, giant stone heads of the Olmec civilization, several treasures from the Maya civilization, a model of the former Aztec capital Tenochtitlan, which is now occupied by the modern-day Mexico Cit, as well as ethnological displays of rural Mexican life. Nearby, the National Museum of History which is located in the Chapultepec Castle focuses on the Viceroyalty of New Spain and its progress towards modern Mexico, up to the 20th Century.

Mexico City has around 160 museums, over 100 art galleries and some 30 concert halls, all of which maintain a constant cultural activity during the year. It has one of the highest numbers of theatres in the world along with New York and London, and is the city with the most number of museums in the world.

Begins and ends in Mexico City.

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